If you’re a gym regular, tell me you haven’t seen this before: People who look like the need to add some weight training to their workout regimen spend seemingly endless hours on an elliptical machine or stairclimber burning more calories than they could eat in a week. While people who look like they could shed a few pounds wander around lifting various weights, most often while barely breaking a sweat.
For now, I’ll do what I do at the gym–leave the cardio maniacs alone. Try to tell them that mixing in resistance training will make them stronger and ultimately in even better shape, and you’ll get a death stare–if you’re lucky. If you’re not, well, you just might get your feelings hurt.
So let’s just deal with the folks who think lifting weights will help them lose weight. In short, it won’t work.
Not according to a recent study conducted at the Duke University Medical Center. Researchers separated 234 overweight or obese men and women into three groups and had one group during aerobic training only (vigorous training for 45 minutes 3 days a week), a second group do resistance training only (three sets 8-12 reps on eight machines three days a week) and the third group do both (all exercises).
Not surprising, the first and third groups lost more weight. Period. Indeed the group that just did resistance training actually gained weight. “Given our observations,” said Duke exercise physiologist Leslie H. Willis, the study’s lead author, “it may be time to seriously reconsider the conventional wisdom that resistance training alone can lead to weight and fat loss.”
Yes, it’s time.
If you’re trying to lose weight, stick with regular (at least three times a week) and vigorous (don’t just get on the machine and mindlessly read a book or watch the television monitor) cardio training.